When I was growing up, one of my favorite indoor pastimes was listening to my Bill Cosby albums.
If you don't already know, Mr. Cosby made numerous comedy albums back in the day.
I had a few of them and I played them every weekend.
No matter how many times I listened to those old albums, they never ceased to crack me up.
It got to the point where I could quite accurately quote each and every one of his bits.
I think some of my favorite ones were "Chicken Heart," "Tonsils," and "Chocolate Cake for Breakfast," with honorable mention going to "Go Carts."
In fact, I have actually found myself utilizing some of the "Go Carts" racing theme songs while quickly trying to navigate through traffic on the turnpike or when trying to make it to work on time.
Toward the end of my teen years, someone stole my treasured box of albums and my weekends spent listening to Mr. Cosby became a thing of the past.
That is, until my recent discovery of his comedy routines on YouTube.
I have been having a blast listening to those old bits and I was quite surprised with how much of them I could actually still remember; considering I can't remember where I put my keys or my wallet half of the time.
In addition to still being really funny, they are also appropriate for all audiences, unlike much of the comedy out there today.
A few years ago I put together a "clean" comedy night as a fundraiser at my daughter's school.
I thought the gentleman I hired (Brad Todd, in case anyone is interested) was hysterical, but was concerned that others may be bored because his routine didn't consist of the usual vulgarities and free usage of the f-bomb.
Thankfully, everyone laughed and had a really great time.
Last year I got word that some comedians would be performing locally and so I decided to invite my 70-year-old mother to get out and have some much-needed laughs with me.
I figured that there would probably be some off-color language and such, but nothing that we couldn't handle.
To say that we were both shocked would be an understatement.
Truth be told, I can't believe how utterly offended I was at the stuff I was hearing.
Let me be clear: I have never been told I was a prude and I have shamefully admitted to struggling with a potty mouth from time to time; but the things they were saying made me cringe.
I was afraid to look at my mother's face and even more afraid of what might come out of her mouth in response to them when she reached her breaking point.
I wanted so much to leave but feared being the target of their impromptu taunting as we made our way through the room to the exit door.
I looked to my mother for some sort of hint as to how she wished to proceed, however she appeared to be catatonic; which I presume was her way of restraining herself from scolding them like only an angry and outraged mother can.
As soon as it was over, my mother and I made a beeline for the door.
We never spoke of that night again.
I don't know if I just got too old or if we have just crossed, no, shattered the lines of decency.
Maybe it's a little of both.
Either way, that performance gave me a much greater appreciation for people like Mr. Todd and Mr. Cosby for being able to make me laugh until my stomach hurts, rather than making me shudder while my stomach turns.